Retirement Reversal

He said, John, in your life, there won’t be 10 people who you can really count on. That may be true for most of us. But he was a teacher. And one of his most important lessons wasn’t something from … Read More

Ava is a palindrome. It looks the same coming from any direction. The water tower sits atop a hill off the center of town, shouting “Ava Bears” from its steel sides. This garden spot in the middle of the Mark … Read More

Devils and Elbows

I found a hideaway. When I rolled to its door, a thundershower was beating down on the low slung structure made mostly of logs with mud chinks, its back wall standing just a couple of feet above the swollen Big … Read More

Seven Wonders of Shannon County: Devil’s Well

Paraphrasing Jerry Vineyard, Missouri’s preeminent geologist-explorer, Devil’s Well is a big stomach. It’s mother nature’s idea of an indoor pool, except that it’s cold and dark and scary as hell, hence the name. It is perhaps the world’s most dramatic … Read More

Seven Wonders of Shannon County: Welch Spring

Upriver from Akers Ferry, which connects the wilderness north of the Current River to the wilderness on the south, Welch Spring is home to an abandoned country hospital. Nearly a century ago, a physician built a stone sanitarium at the … Read More

Seven Wonders of Shannon County: Round Spring

Highway 19 crosses the Current at Round Spring, another wonder to the eyes, but also a wonder down under. That’s because geologists believe the spring crosses under the Current before it empties into the river. Just north, two towns named … Read More

Seven Wonders of Shannon County: Blue Spring

Most of these half million floaters miss Blue Spring, even though it’s only a quarter mile from the Current, an easy hike beside the spring’s gushing stream. Called Spring of the Summer Sky by native inhabitants, the water charges from … Read More

The Seven Wonders of Shannon County: Rocky Falls

Most of the creeks that feed these rivers emanate from springs in the steep hills. Many must make a special effort to bust through barriers to reach the bigger streams. One such robust creek flows over Rocky Falls, and when … Read More

Seven Wonders of Shannon County: Alley Spring

Some folks claim that Alley Spring Mill is the most photographed spot in Missouri. The two story gristmill sits astride this emerging underground discharge of 81 million gallons per day, where Alley Spring Branch flows a half mile to add … Read More